More Free Stuff

I saved some of my thoughts about the book Free for a second subsequent post. At the end of the book, author Chris Anderson outlines “The Ten Principles of Abundance Thinking,” and so I list them here:

If it’s digital, sooner or later it’s going to be free. In a competitive market, price falls to the marginal cost, and bits want to be free.
Atoms would like to be free, too, but they’re not so pushy about it. Businesses will always find ways to redefine their services to make some things free while selling others.
You can’t stop Free. In the digital realm you can try to keep Free at bay with laws and locks, but it is better to take Free back from the pirates, and sell upgrades.
You can make money from Free. Free opens doors, reaching new customers, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t charge some of them.
Redefine your market. Changing your perspective opens up opportunities to make money around your core business.
Round down. The first to Free gets attention, and there are ways to turn that into money.
Sooner or later you will compete with Free. Match the price of your competitors or ensure that the differences in quality overcome the differences in price.
Embrace waste. If something is becoming too cheap to matter, stop metering it.
Free makes other things more valuable. Every abundance creates a new scarcity and when one service becomes free, value migrates to the next level, so go there.
Manage for abundance, not scarcity. As business functions become digital, they can also become more independent without risk of sinking the mothership.

I highly recommend reading Free regardless of one’s personal profession, as the ideas discussed in it are applicable across a range of industries. However, I find them particularly pertinent to those involved in the creative arts. Whether we like it or not, artists must adapt to the digitization of their creations and agree upon an equitable form of compensation.